While you are at the Forrester Security IT Forum in Miami, you might also want to attend my session on Managed Security Services Providers. In my role as an analyst, I speak to many security leaders that wrestle with the outsourcing question. Security is a sensitive topic and many security executives are uncomfortable transferring operational responsibility for this function to a third party.
This presentation will present techniques to help security managers make decisions on what they can trust to a third party and more importantly, what they should outsource to a third party. This should be a lively presentation and discussion on what is a sometimes-controversial topic. I hope to see you there.
At the upcoming Forrester Security IT Forum (November 9) in Miami, Florida, I will present information on President Obama's cybercrime legislative initiative. This presentation and discussion will focus on the pending legislation in Congress and the Obama administration’s proposal to strengthen cybercrime law. There is a real need for this. Today there are 46 states with cybercrime breach reporting laws. While similar, there are enough differences to make reporting more complex. In addition, these laws only address PII and do very little to address other types of cybercrime. This new proposal addresses both PII and attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure. The proposal stiffens criminal penalties and provides for the Department of Homeland Security to serve as the “new sheriff in town” when it comes to cybercrime.
Also associated with this proposal is a mandatory reporting requirement for organizations that manage more than 10,000 pieces of PII in a twelve-month period, or who provide critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure is a very broad definition and includes financial services, utility, healthcare, as well as other industries. Please join me in Miami, as we present and discuss the proposal and its impact on private industry. I hope you can join us.
At Forrester's Security Forum 2011 in Miami, November 9-10, we will be reprising the wildly successful "Hackers Vs. Executives" track session. There will be two leading security professionals sitting on the panel representing the executive viewpoint, and they will be joined on stage by two noted researchers who will provide a hacker's-eye for this session. Rodney Joffe of Neustar will give us a live guided tour of the “Invisible Internet” – the IRC chat rooms and carder forums where the underground cybercrime economy lives. Michael Hamelin of Tufin Technologies – a noted white hat hacker and multiple winner of the DefCon “Capture the Flag” competition – will do another demo to help us understand how attacks work. We will then turn to our panelist representing the executive viewpoint to start an interactive discussion about current and future threats and how best to understand them and protect against them.
Last year this session was packed. It was highly interactive with lots of provocative questions coming from the audience. I encourage you to join us in Miami, November 10th from 11:35 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. for this unique and informative presentation.
Go to the security forum website for more information. Hope to see you there!
I am very excited to introduce my first Forrester report, "The Content Security Forecast Calls For Clouds." I wrote the report to help guide your strategy on SaaS based email and web content security. During my inquiries, I am frequently asked about content security in the cloud:
"Is web SaaS mature enough for enterprises?"
"Will SaaS help secure my mobile and remote users?"
"What about the hybrid model?"
"What are other organizations doing?"
In the report, I take a closer look at these questions, and I also address the benefits and challenges associated with the SaaS model. I leave you with multiple deployment options and specific recommendations for your journey to the cloud. If you have questions or comments please let me know, I would love to hear from you.
Back in July, I wrote about a new RESTful API that cloud providers and provisioning vendors are working on for doing identity provisioning and synching: Simple Cloud Identity Management, or SCIM (like the milk). At last week's Internet Identity Workshop -- only five months after this draft spec made its formal debut! -- I had a chance to see the SCIM developers' live interop session in action. The interop saw successful participation by the likes of Cisco, Ping Identity, Sailpoint, salesforce.com, Technology Nexus, and UnboundID, with user accounts being securely created and torn down rapid-fire over the ether.
What's more, in talking with a more traditional on-premises identity vendor later in the week, I discovered that they loved how SCIM was shaping up, and planned to check it out ASAP as a way they could expose their own provisioning functionality.
In this Zero Trust world, with perimeters melting all over the place, I'm seeing signs that this lightweight API trend for IdM functionality is only going to accelerate. What do you think? If you're coming to Forrester Security Forum in a couple of weeks, I hope you'll grab me for a conversation about how this trend impacts your plans.
This report was inspired by a number of customer inquiries that I had recently on mobile password policies. It struck me that few IT organizations actually understood the fundamental rationale behind password policies - length and complexity of passwords, number of password retries, and password lifetime. This is perhaps because we take user passwords, one of the most basic security controls, for granted, and hence don't think about it too deeply. Because it is such a prevalent security control, and because many organizations don't have much beyond user passwords, it is high time we understand why we set a particular password policy and whether that works for our particular risk profile.
So I set out to write this report - trying to describe the theoretical underpinnings of password properties. For example, if you require that your mobile users use a 6-digit PIN to access their mobile phones, do you know how many PIN fail-retries you should permit but still achieve NIST level one authentication? What about a 6-character alphanumeric password?
If anything exemplifies the extended enterprise, it's the notion of the "API economy": Unlocking value in your organization's unique data and services by publishing open APIs (application programming interfaces) for access by third parties. As Laura Koetzle notes, business leaders today are prioritizing growth above all -- and fostering a third-party developer ecosystem is becoming a great way to boost revenue. Best Buy, eBay, and USA Today are examples of companies with APIs and external developer communities.
But, but, but...just how secure is an open API? Especially if you, the security professional, can't fully control these external developers' actions? This is where it gets exciting, because security and identity-based access control are enablers of these new business opportunities. After all, an API of this sort is essentially a digital product whose use must be metered.
Many organizations in this position are turning to the OAuth technology to solve a host of security challenges that arise from opening up APIs. I'm excited to be bringing the latest in OAuth business cases, adoption news, and recommendations to my Forrester Security Forum track session on "Securing And Identity-Enabling Monster Mashups." Hope to see you at the Forum November 9-10 in Miami!
(Got a great API security story, or maybe some questions? Don't wait till November; feel free to share in a comment here, or ping me on Twitter using the #FSF11 hashtag.)
“To succeed, Security & Risk leaders need to be part of the business strategy.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone give some variation on that piece of advice, I’d be rich. As you all know, that’s an easy thing to say but a difficult thing to do. And that’s particularly true now, because our business leaders today are prioritizing growth – they’re entering new markets and releasing new products and services to grow revenue. Your business will unleash the creativity of its entire extended enterprise ecosystem – employees, partners, suppliers, and current customers – to find new ways to win and serve new customers. And your extended enterprise will connect via mobile and social applications and use cloud services.
It’s interesting how many threads there are on the Internet that still debate the difference between these two words: “responsible” and “accountable.” Oddly enough, today I stumbled across two definitions, from seemingly respectable sources, that hold diametrically opposite views! To me, the answer is simple – you can delegate responsibility, but accountability remains fixed.
This is a key point in the extended enterprises in which we now function. Firms are now made up of a myriad of offshore and outsourced services, running on systems that are similarly fragmented and distributed across vendors. This complex tangle of people and data represents a huge challenge to the CISO, who remains accountable for the security, and often the compliance, of his employer yet is no longer responsible for their provision.
With a methodical and comprehensive process and a surfeit of resource (please stop laughing at the back!), the CISO does, however, have the ability to follow the data trails and manage risk down in this regard. Unfortunately, with the advent of cloud, things are taking a turn for the worse. Cloud vendors are reluctant to be scrutinized, and the security and compliance demands of the CISO can often go unanswered. If cloud really is to be a mainstay of computing in the future, something has to give – we need to find a balance where compliance and security assurance requirements are met without fatally undermining the cloud model. This is a key topic for 2012 and something we’ll be following with interest.
As security professionals, we remain accountable for resolving these issues, no matter how much responsibility has been pushed to third parties and cloud vendors. So, how do you minimize the workload involved in managing the third parties that make up your extended enterprise, and how do you gain assurance around cloud vendors?
Forrester's Security and Risk Management clients often describe the frustration they feel when they are not included in important initiatives until after decisions have been made. Lately, this situation has been especially pronounced among decisions to enter partnership agreements based on service, performance, and cost considerations... with risk management only brought in later to identify and mitigate potential points of exposure.
At the same time, Forrester's Sourcing and Vendor Management professionals find themselves facing their own challenges when it comes to managing the risk of partner relationships. In a Q3, 2011 suvey of 575 Sourcing and Vendor Management professionals, top concerns related at "X-as-a-service" relationships included the lack of recourse if a vendor fails or goes out of business, the lack of a clear way to assess risk of a third party, and inability to manage how providers are handling data. ( Source: Forrsights Services Survey, Q3 2011)
In order to bridge this gap, Security and Risk Management professionals need to deliver a streamlined way to insert risk identification, analysis, and evaluation steps within their organization's existing vendor management lifecycle. Forrester customers who have taken this approach - for example, by introducing short, 10-15 question surveys to determine whether more detailed vendor risk assessments are warranted - report better oversight of vendor risk and better involvement in the decision making process. In some cases, Security and Risk Management professionals have even reported casting a decisive thumbs-down vote to block a new vendor contract because it represents unacceptable risk.